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Park Spotlight – Langenfeld Wasserski

If you’re a fan of cable parks, you’ve likely heard of Wasserski Langenfeld. If you haven’t, here you go. Located in western Germany, between the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, Wasserski Langenfeld is the world’s largest watersports park. Featuring four full-size cables, two System 2.0 setups, a surf wave, pro shop, restaurant and more, Langenfeld offers no shortage of activities or amenities. Over the years the park has also played host to some of the most preeminent contests and festivals in the world. These days that means kicking off the season every May with the acclaimed “LAO” – the Langenfeld Open. We caught up with Langenfeld lifer (and current General Manager) Benni Suess to talk about what’s going on at the iconic park these days. Be sure to check out the Langenfeld website for more info, and if you’re looking to do some wake park traveling this summer, add this to the top of your list!

What is the brief history of Wasserski Langenfeld? How did it start, and do you remember when wakeboards started showing up at the start dock?

Our granddad built the first cable in 1976. From there it was just waterskiing. The Skurfer and directional boards showed up in the late 80´s and beginning of the 90´s and it was just a side-sport for carving around the cable. When we recieved the first Flilght 69, it all made sense. From there it took off!

Langenfeld has grown into one of the largest watersports complexes in the world. How do you continue to offer a premium experience to customers while managing four full sized cables, two System 2.0 setups, a wave pool, a restaurant and more?

Our family philosophy was always to reinvest into the sport. We have great people working with us and leading the different parts of our company. The main question for my brother and myself is always how can we stay core and true to our sport that we love and on the same hand give first time beginners the best experience and open the sport to new customers.

Langenfeld plays host to some incredible professional and amateur events. Do you have a favorite from over the years?

Of course “LAO” is known worldwide as one of the most innovative contests. And especially in 2022, it was one of the best contest I’ve ever witnessed! But for many, many years we’re doing a kids contest at the end of the season, which is called “Rookie of the Year!” You can´t beat the vibe when you have 60 kids on the dock cheering for each other and battling it out.

Who are some of the pro riders (past and current) who have called Langenfeld home?

Our top riders right now are Nils Ritzmann, Rien van der Pas and Nico von Lerchenfeld, who moved close to our park a couple years ago. But also Nick Schäfers, Tom and Mats Vanhauer, Luuk vdP, Niko Kranjc, Nicklas Dorfer and Konni Lehndorf ride here a lot. Not to mention all the young guns that are coming up like Pepe Kienzler and Emma Kreft. Back in the days it was mainly my brother Flo and me together with Hardy Tunnissen.

On a busy summer day, what’s the ratio of wakeboarders to water skiers?

That´s super hard to tell. We try to give beginners double skis for their first try, although everybody wants to wakeboard. Once the get a couple laps done, they give it a go on a wakeboard. The success this way is just amazing to get people on the water, who have never been on any board.

What trends in the sports have you noticed at the park over the last couple years? Anybody showing up with a foil? =)

Wakepants? Haha, this reminds me when everybody was wearing long boardshorts over their fullsuits.

What cool things do you guys have planned for 2023?

Save the date for LAO 2023 on the 13th of May! Also, we always work close with UNIT to get some fresh and fun features, plus a cool park setup for the new season.